Templated protein assembly on micro-contact-printed surface patterns. Use of the SNAP-tag protein functionality

Langmuir. 2008 Jun 17;24(12):6375-81. doi: 10.1021/la7037075. Epub 2008 May 17.


Micro contact printing (microCP) has been established as a simple technique for high-resolution protein patterning for micro- and nanoarrays. However, as biochemical assays based on immobilized protein arrays progress from immunoassays to more delicate functional assays, the demand for methods of miniaturized, gentle, and oriented immobilization, which are applicable to many different target proteins, becomes larger. In this study, we present a novel microCP templated assembly approach, based on a recombinant SNAP-FLAG-HIS 10 (SFH) immobilization vehicle, which exploits the recently developed SNAP-tag protein. The SNAP-tag is derived from the human DNA repair protein hAGT, which covalently transfers the alkyl group of benzyl guanine (BG) substrates onto itself. We have designed a model SFH cassette carrying three tags (SNAP-tag, FLAG-tag, and HIS-tag), each of which can be used for fluorescence labeling or surface immobilization. When patterns of streptavidin modified with BG-biotin (streptavidin-BG) are stamped onto a surface, the SFH can subsequently assemble on the ligand pattern from solution, functioning as a general immobilization vehicle for high-resolution patterning of any protein expressed in the SFH cassette, in a gentle and oriented manner. Alternatively, the SFH can be site-selectively biotinylated using BG-biotin and, subsequently, assemble on stamped streptavidin. We exploit several ways to biotinylate the SFH protein via the SNAP-tag, promoting its templated assembly on micropatterns of streptavidin in four complementary formats. Quantitative analysis of the obtained patterns, revealed by immunostaining, indicates that all four approaches resulted in proper SFH immobilization and antibody recognition, demonstrating the versatility of the SFH cassette and the potential for high resolution patterning applications. Also, our data confirm that streptavidin can be stamped directly on surfaces, without loss of activity. While three strategies resulted in similar patterning efficiencies, one particular approach--namely templated assembly of SFH directly on streptavidin-BG patterns--resulted in an order of magnitude increase in patterning efficiency.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Biotin / chemistry
  • Biotinylation
  • Cloning, Molecular
  • DNA Repair
  • Escherichia coli / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Immunoassay / methods*
  • Ligands
  • Microscopy, Confocal
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Molecular Biology
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase / chemistry
  • Recombinant Proteins / chemistry
  • Streptavidin / chemistry
  • Surface Properties


  • Ligands
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Biotin
  • Streptavidin
  • O(6)-Methylguanine-DNA Methyltransferase